For a work obligation, I spent five hours yesterday in a car driven by my seventeen year old coworker. I know, big deal. You have kids or relatives that age. Or you are that age. What's so special about obligatory chilling with a minor?

But how often do you get to shoot the bull with a kid with whom you have no relation or agenda? Exactly. Here's a few things I learned from my younger co-worker who I'll call Dude.

1. It'll be fine. We were filming in Priceton Maine (if you've never been to the midddle of no where, that's it) and the details were a little sketchy but Dude was optimistic. Maybe it would be a cool place and filming probably wouldn't take long…He was less nervous then I was.

2. If you like your girlfriend and who she is after being with her a year, you'll probably keep liking her. I asked Dude if him and his girlfriend were going to stay together when he went to college. He wasn't assuming marriage or breaking up, instead he said that they've been going out over a year and he's not sick of her and since he's going to school closeby, they didn't have to make the decision yet. He's right, if you still like someone day after day, your feelings probably won't change (barring some crazy event). 

3. Sometimes, it's ok to work for the man. Dude does some freelance work but he likes that at the office, he has work he needs to do and doesn't have to take the lead dealing with people all the time. And a steady paycheck and benefits are kind of cool when you think of your job that way.

4. Moving to have less of a commute (and being flexible about things in general) is helpful. Dude is excited about having a roommate and doing his college thing in his on campus dormroom. He was going to schedule all his classes so that they only happened two or three days a week and commute but then he realized that was crazy. Way to put important things first, Dude!

5. A good teacher makes a big difference. We talked about good teachers and what makes them good. We both agreed a good teacher has knowledge, isn't trying to be one of the kids, and requires a certain ingrained talent. This conversation made me wished I still worked in a school.

6. Everyone is a visual learner. One of dude's teacher gave notes entirely in symbols and everyone loved it. The visual learners got it a lot better then they would have gotten regular notes while the verbal people could just translate the symbols into notes for their own use. For tests, the teacher would keep the symbols on the board but without their meanings. When his practices came into question, Dude's teacher gave the final test without the symbols on the board. There was some groaning but most every kid aced the test and knew the information.

7. Don't buy stuff you can't afford. Dude wanted a motorcycle at the beginning of the summer but realized he couldn't afford it. Maybe next summer. Whateve.

8. Back into a parking space in a town you don't know. Dude's grandfather gave him this advice. Basically, if you have to book it out of town, having backed into a parking space makes it easier for you to just go. Random but I thought it was good advice.

After my ride with Dude, I am much less worried about younger generations. I think they are going to be fine…and maybe teach us way out of high school a thing or two about money and life.

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